What Happens If I Incorporated Dietary Changes And My Cholesterol Is Still Not Within Recommended Ranges
If youve made some dietary changes and you still havent seen results, try incorporating phytosterol into your diet. Phytosterol is similar to the bodys cholesterol and can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your body.
Phytosterol can lower your cholesterol by 10% and your LDL by 14%, she says. Aim to get about 2 grams of phytosterol a day. Some common food and dietary supplements include high sterol or stanol esters be sure to read the labels.
Saturated And Unsaturated Fat
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- meat pies
- cakes and biscuits
- foods containing coconut or palm oil
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels.
Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with small amounts of foods high in unsaturated fats, such as:
- oily fish such as mackerel and salmon
- nuts such as almonds and cashews
- seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- vegetable oils and spreads such as rapeseed or vegetable oil, sunflower, olive, corn and walnut oils
How To Get Started On An Exercise Plan To Lower Cholesterol
Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if your high cholesterol is putting you at more immediate risk for heart disease or stroke, says Dr. Cho.
If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness during exercise, stop immediately. Dr. Cho adds more general tips for getting started:
- Start slow. If you are new to an exercise program, start with a short amount of time, and slowly increase. Low and slow, all the way. Start with a 15-minute exercise, then build up to at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. The optimal goal is to achieve approximately 200 minutes per week of exercise, Dr. Cho says.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water when you are thirsty, and remember that in hot or humid conditions you may need to drink even more water to maintain hydration.
- Stay comfortable. Wear sneakers or flat shoes with laces that have good support.
- Stay on top of it. Make exercise a regular part of your healthy lifestyle, and try to exercise at the same time each day so it becomes a habit.
- Stay motivated. Ask family and friends to join you to help keep you motivated and healthy. This also can help them to start or continue their own journey to a healthy lifestyle.
The great thing about exercise is that it doesnt always have to be the same, says Dr. Cho. Change it up, keep it exciting and know that in good time, your hard work will pay off in the form of lower cholesterol.
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Foods Fortified With Plant Sterols And Stanols
Many people dont know much about foods enriched with plant sterols and stanols. What do they do? Where do we find them?
Plant stanols and sterols are naturally occurring chemicals in fruits and vegetables. Stanols and sterols have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol and they work to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, so more is lost in our poop! This helps to lower the unhealthy cholesterol levels in the blood.
In Australia, many foods are fortified with plant sterols including margarine, low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, and breakfast cereals.
However, the dose matters if we want plant sterols to do their job. We need to consume 2 to 3 grams of plant sterols daily to lower the level of unhealthy cholesterol. In other words, we should be consuming 2 to 3 serves of plant-sterol-fortified foods everyday to get the cholesterol lowering benefit!
It can be easily achieved by including 2-3 serves of the following in your diet:
- About 2 teaspoons of margarine on your toast.
- 1 cup of breakfast cereal.
- 1 cup of fortified low-fat milk.
- A small tub of reduced-fat yoghurt as a snack.
Plant stanols or sterols are not essential to managing your cholesterol but they can be a helpful tool.
How To Improve Good Cholesterol Hdl
Follow a low-carb diet:
- Lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork
- Fish and eggs.
- Leafy green vegetable. cauliflower and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter.
- Oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil.
- Fruit such as bananas, apples, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Unsweetened dairy products including plain whole milk and Greek yogurt.
Consume Olive Oil
Lots of people in the Mediterranean drink about one-fourth of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil every morning, followed by a small glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
It only takes a small amount of olive oil a day to help your body to function more efficiently and fight an array of illnesses, like Alzheimers, heart disease, stroke, and several types of cancer.
Note: As of today and for almost a year, I have been drinking a glass of warm water with a spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar which has helped to considerably improve my Cholesterol levels.
Adding Olive Oil to my daily routine will be great!
Consume Purple Produce Foods
Consuming purple produce fruits and vegetables is a delicious way to potentially increase HDL Cholesterol, as they contain antioxidants know as anthocyanins. These a list of purple produce vegetables:
Eat Fatty Fish Often
The Omega-3 fats in Fatty Fish provide major benefits to hear health, including a reduction in inflammation and better functioning of the cells that line your arteries.
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Start An Exercise Program To Raise Hdl Cholesterol
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can also increase HDL cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercises, such as running, biking, and swimming, along with moderate weight training are good choices to help best boost those good cholesterol levels.
For women after menopause, a study published in August 2016 in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism found that high intensity interval training led to better HDL cholesterol levels as well as significant weight loss. And a study published in May 2016 in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that obese men who engaged in aerobic interval training or resistance training just three days a week for 12 weeks had significantly increased HDL cholesterol when compared with obese men who did no training.
Exercise is excellent because it may independently raise your HDL, but also leads to weight loss, which may account for additional gains in your HDL, says Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol By Making Lifestyle Changes
You can lower your cholesterol levels by making lifestyle changes, and through taking medicines if that’s what your doctor advises. Some people will only need to improve their lifestyle and diet to get their cholesterol to a safe level. Others may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines, as well.
Eat More Fish To Boost Hdl Cholesterol
Including fish in your diet can increase HDL cholesterol in a short period of time. In a study published in February 2014 in the journal PLoS One, researchers concluded that a diet rich in foods including fish showed an increase in the size of HDL particles in the body, which could help improve cholesterol transport through the body. The researchers saw the positive effects of a diet that included fish in as little as 12 weeks.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the type of fatty acids found in fish, can help increase your HDL cholesterol, Ahmed says. Two servings of fatty fish per week, including salmon, mackerel, or albacore tuna, can help you hit your omega-3 goals. Youll also get omega-3s from flaxseeds, mixed greens, and walnuts in your diet.
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Cooking With Vegetable Oils
Some vegetable oils can also be a source of heart-healthy fats. We know it can be confusing to figure out which oils are better for you with the varieties that are available in the market.
Oils from animal origins and tropical fruits, such as palm and coconut oil can have a lot of saturated fat! An easy way to reduce your saturated fat intake is to swap them for heart-healthy vegetable oil!
So, what are some good choices for vegetable oils?
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
A blend of the above oils can also be a good choice and is often sold under the name of vegetable oil. Using cooking spray in your baking can help to reduce the amount of oil you use.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
How To Improve Your Cholesterol
Getting told you have high LDL cholesterol or triglycerides can be a shock, especially if you don’t have a personal or family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. Luckily, though, some pretty simple lifestyle changes can help you get your health back on track.
Keep in mind these habit shifts work best when you catch the problem early so its important to stay up-to-date on visits to your primary care provider. By identifying and treating high cholesterol early on, we can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and help you live a long and healthy life, says Richardson.
Here are a few steps you can take to improve your cholesterol:
Eat lots of plants
Not only do fruits and veggies improve your fiber intake and decrease your intake of animal products they also provide cholesterol-cutting compounds called plant stanols or sterols, which work similarly to soluble fiber. As a general rule, the more plants on your plate, the better! Not a vegetable fan? Try sneaking veggies into your diet by blending them into dishes you love!
Lower your calorie intake
Eat more fish
Boost your fiber
If lifestyle factors above arent lowering your cholesterol enough to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, a healthcare provider can help you reverse course. A One Medical clinician or your primary care provider can make personalized recommendations, including whether cholesterol medication is right for you.
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How To Improve Your Cholesterol Profile
You can’t change your age or family medical history, both of which can affect your cholesterol levels. However, you can lose weight and boost physical activity, which will help lower your LDL cholesterol and boost HDL. Probably the most important step, though, is changing the way you eat.
Focus on fats. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies does not come directly from cholesterol-containing foods like eggs. Rather, it is made by our bodies from components of food. To improve your cholesterol profile, avoid saturated fats . These fats increase unhealthy LDL levels. Instead, replace some of the saturated fats in your diet with healthier unsaturated fats, which are found in fish, nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and safflower oil.
Choose whole grains. Whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereal help prevent dramatic ups and downs in blood sugar and make you feel full longer. Many of these foods con-tain fiber that lowers LDL levels.
Make healthy substitutions. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially if you substitute these for processed foods like potato chips. And make healthy dairy substitutions: fat-free milk instead of whole milk, or plain yogurt instead of sugar-laden versions.
To help people determine their 10-year risk of a heart attack, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology created an online calculator you can find it at . Using that number, you and your doctor can decide on your best course.
Drop Excess Pounds To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total body weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift.But as Groppo notes, Maintaining weight loss is key.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist rather than in the hips and thighs seems to be associated with heart disease risk and lower levels of the good cholesterol. Weight loss is especially helpful for people who have an apple-shaped body.
Effective weight-loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A study published in January 2014 in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases found that 318 participants who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding showed a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol long-term, 12 years later.
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When To Consider Cholesterol Medication
If lifestyle changes aren’t lowering your cholesterol levels, or if you’re at risk for having a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may prescribe medications called statins. These are perhaps the most effective cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to the AHA.
Statins work by preventing your liver from producing LDL cholesterol, and helping it remove LDL cholesterol that’s already in your blood. Randomized trials have found that statins reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by about 25% each year for every 39 mg/dL of cholesterol.
While statins are generally considered safe, they may have some of the following side effects:
- Muscle or joint soreness, pain, or weakness
Overall, the benefits of statins far outweigh the risk of side effects, the AHA notes in a 2018 report.
“From what we know from long-term studies, they appear to be very safe,” says cardiologist Eugene Yang, MD, medical director of the UW Medicine Eastside Specialty Center and chair-elect of the ACC Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council.
But statins won’t lower cholesterol on their own, so it’s important to also adopt the healthy lifestyle changes mentioned above. “One of the things that’s really important is that patients don’t use the medications as a way to justify eating unhealthily,” Yang says.
Simple Ways To Improve Your Cholesterol
When you go to the doctors office for a routine checkup, your provider might order some lab tests to gain a deeper understanding of your health. One of these tests is a lipid profile also called a cholesterol test which can help provide a window of insight into your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol, a waxy substance found in the blood, helps the body build the cells and hormones it needs to promote overall health. Excess cholesterol can develop fatty deposits in blood vessels, potentially restricting blood flow. Cholesterol-ridden vessels could result in serious medical problems, like heart attack or stroke.
There are a few different types of cholesterol your doctor might measure, and each one comes with its own function and risk factors:
High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol: Also called good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol helps get rid of excess cholesterol in your system by transporting it to the liver.
Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol: Also known as bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol moves cholesterol particles through your body. Over time, it can line your blood vessel walls leading to damage , which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Triglycerides: While triglycerides arent technically cholesterol, theyre a common type of fat in the blood. One Medicals Michael Richardson, MD says doctors often check triglyceride levels when checking cholesterol, since triglycerides also contribute to your risk of heart disease.
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